Doubts cast over CBI 'junior official' claims as Electoral Commission publishes registration document
By a Newsnet Reporter (23 May 2014)The Confederation of British Industry's application to become a registered participant in the independence referendum was signed by two of the group's most senior officials it has emerged.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has published the CBI's application on its website showing that the lobby group's request to register as an official backer of the 'No' campaign was sanctioned by its head of political campaigns, Richard Maughan, and senior campaigns advisor, Jon Harrison.
The CBI, a lobby group campaigning on behalf of UK businesses, registered with the EC as an official supporter of the No campaign on April 14th. The registration was initially accepted by the EC, but declared void by the commission over two weeks later after the CBI director-general John Cridland claimed it had been made in error.
Publication of the CBI's application form comes after Cridland told the BBC that the application had been an "honest mistake" and one that was made after "an official in our London office signed what he thought was the regulatory compliance necessary to deal with the CBI's expenditures on things like our events and our dinners".
The CBI Chief claimed he had no knowledge of the matter until it was reported by the BBC and that the registration form had been signed by someone at a "junior level in London".
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